Akeelah and the Bee: 11-year-old Akeelah (Keke Palmer) has a gift for words. Though her mother (Angela Bassett) isn’t behind her, Akeelah (with the help of tutor Laurence Fishburne) enters spelling bees, eventually winning a chance to compete nationally. PG. Screens with subtitles for the hearing impaired at 9 pm Aug. 10 at Churchill Skate Park. Pre-show entertainment begins at 8 pm. Free.
Archaeology Film Fest Series: Best of 2007: Selected films from this year’s Archaeology Film Fest show over the next two weekends, including Network and Signs Out of Time: The Story of Marija Gimbutas, 7:30 pm Aug. 10; Genghis Khan: Rider of the Apocalypse and Novgorod: Letters From the Middle Ages, 7:30 pm Aug. 11, DIVA. $6 each night.
Becoming Jane: Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this “fresh and daring view of Jane Austen’s early years,” in which Ms. Austen encounters the dashing Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy, The Last King of Scotland) and works to succeed as a writer. Two Jane Austen-related movies this year — but only this one has the stellar McAvoy. PG13. VRC Stadium 15.
Bob Marley and the Wailers: The In-Concert film series presents Marley and company at a Capitol Records studio rehearsal for their first North American tour, in 1973. The only full-length performance of the original Wailers known to exist, the film will show signs of age. Bijou LateNite.
Daddy Day Camp: C’mon, Cuba Gooding Jr., don’t you have an Oscar to live up to? Oh, never mind; just keep turning out claptrap like this sequel to Daddy Day Care. Now the daddies take the kids to camp! And things get out of control! No way! PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Interview: This tedious remake of a film by Theo van Gogh (the Dutch director who was murdered several years ago) stars Sienna Miller as a supposedly vapid actress and Steve Buscemi (who also directs) as a supposedly sharp journalist sent to interview her. Contrived situations and false notes occur too often, but Miller’s an interesting screen presence. R. Bijou. See review this issue.
Ocean’s 13: The formula doesn’t change much for the third Ocean’s outing: Suave stars have a grand old time concocting heists, executing plans and looking good in suits. But the charm is wearing thin. With George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and a bunch of other folks. PG13. Movies 12. (6/14)
Rush Hour 3: Did I forget this one when I made my list of this summer’s needless sequels? Did I mention I blame director Brett Ratner for the murky mess that was last year’s X-Men 3? Does it matter? Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, questionable jokes and action humor: you know what you’re getting. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Skinwalkers: Like being a hormonally-addled 13-year-old isn’t enough, young Timothy (Matthew Knight) has to deal with the added difficulty of coming into his werewolf heritage. Also? Dangerous prophecies are afoot. PG13. Cinemark.
Stardust: Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) takes a steady hand to the many plot threads of this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel. The result is wicked and charming, sweet and sly, with a stellar cast (Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro) and a superb sense of humor. Oh, the story? A young man promises a young lady he’ll fetch her a falling star — but he’s not the only one searching out the young woman who fell from the sky. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted. See archived reviews at www.eugeneweekly.com
Bourne Ultimatum, The: “I remember everything,” says Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in this film’s action-packed trailer. Director Paul Greengrass and the major players (Joan Allen, Julia Stiles) return to the series’ satisfying third installment, which finds Bourne hunting down his past in stunning locations. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Bratz: The bubble-headed dolls come to life in the story of four girls who find that high school cliques are downright hard to avoid. What lessons will they learn from trying to fight the bossy student body president? Will the Bratz be divided? Tough questions, for sure. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Evan Almighty: Steve Carrell takes the starring role in this sequel to Bruce Almighty. Now, God (Morgan Freeman) wants Evan (Carrell), a former newscaster turned Congressman, to build an ark. Boy, that’s gonna involve a lot of critters. PG. Movies 12.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and Sue and Johnny Storm face off with the shiny guy who rides an equally shiny surfboard — and leaves destruction in his wake. PG13. Movies 12.
Hairspray: Based on John Waters’ 1988 cult classic, Hairspray is about teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show — especially one short, plump, cheery girl who loves to dance. With John Travolta in drag. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/26)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Ministry of Magic is in denial about the return of Lord Voldemort, Hogwarts get a nasty new teacher and Harry … Harry’s in one kind of trouble or another throughout the mostly successful and only slightly disappointing fifth HP film. It’s not quite Prisoner of Azkaban, but it’s getting there. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/19)
Hot Rod: Andy Samberg (“Lazy Sunday”) leaps from your YouTube window to the big screen, playing Rod, an amateur stuntman whose stepdad is a big jerk. Er … what? Oh, ok; Rod has to save the day eventually. Samberg’s a charmer, but this movie doesn’t look like one. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as a couple of firefighters who, for various bureaucratic insurance reasons, claim to be domestic parners — all fun and games until the news gets ahold of the story. I’m sure all related issues are dealt with thoughtfully. Um, right. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Knocked Up: Judd Apatow follows The 40-Year-Old Virgin with a sweet yet still raunchy comedy about the unwanted pregnancy that occurs when up-and-coming journalist Alison (Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy) has a one-night stand with slacker Ben (Seth Rogen). R. Movies 12. (6/7)
La Vie en Rose: This majestic, flawless film explores the life of Edith Piaf, as played to perfection by Marion Cotillard. Olivier Dahan’s film depicts the singer’s too-short life, packed with troubles and talent in seemingly equal measure, with sparing elements of the supernatural. PG13. Bijou. (7/19)
Meet the Robinsons: Orphaned inventor Lewis has his latest and greatest creation stolen, but a stranger whisks him away to the future, where adventures, and the thief, await. G. Movies 12.
Nancy Drew: The classic teen heroine arrives on the big screen in the form of Emma Roberts, whose perkiness isn’t enough to put the charm in this awkward film, which updates Nancy’s setting and the subject of her investigation, but not her style or demeanor. PG. Movies 12. (6/21)
No Reservations: Not all chefs are as hot as the oddly appealing Anthony Bourdain (whose travel show shares a title with this film) or, say, Catherine Zeta-Jones, who here plays a perfectionist chef at a fancy Manhattan restaurant whose world is shaken up by the arrival of her niece (Abigail Breslin) and a new sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) with a style in direct opposition to her own. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Once: John Carney’s movie takes “lyrical” to a different level with the gentle, engrossing story of two musicians who find an unexpected connection on the streets of Dublin. Threaded with lovely songs composed by the movie’s leads, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once is an exceptional accomplishment of intimate filmmaking. R. Bijou. (7/26)
Paprika: A thrilling, imaginative, even lovely trip through a dreamscape brought to life by the DC Mini, a device that renders a sleeper’s dreams share-able — and eventually, in the wrong hands, brings them into the real world. This unforgettably creative animated film is among the best of the year so far; its images are indelible. R. Bijou LateNite. (7/5)
Ratatouille: The latest animated film from Pixar is directed by Brad Bird (whose The Iron Giant is too often overlooked) and concerns a big-dreaming rat who wants to be a chef. When he makes a deal with a garbage boy, the culinary world of Paris gets far more than it ever imagined. G. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/12)
Shrek the Third: When Shrek’s father-in-law kicks the bucket, the ogre finds himself the reluctant king of Far Far Away. His only hope of getting out of the job? His wife’s slacker cousin. PG. Movies 12.
Simpsons Movie, The: Well, our Springfield didn’t get the premiere, but in the film maybe we’ll still see some hints that we are the real Simpsons Springfield? Still no idea what it’s about, but does it matter? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Spider-Man 3: Spidey (Tobey Maguire) faces an ungodly number of new villains (including those played by Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace) as the franchise trucks through its overfull third installment. PG13. Movies 12. (5/10)
Surf’s Up: The young, talented, possibly misguided Shia LaBeouf voices Cody Maverick, a teenage penguin surfer entering his first pro competition. A documentary crew’s filming his every move, which might — sort of — explain that “based on a true story” joke in the preview. PG. Movies 12.
Transformers: It wouldn’t be summer without a Michael Bay film, right? Hot on the heels of those other ’80s toys the Ninja Turtles, the Transformers arrive, bigger and flashier than ever. Earth, it seems, will be the battleground for the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. With Shia LaBeouf (Holes) and Megan Fox. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Underdog: Jason Lee voices the titular canine, who finds himself superpowered after an incident in the lab of mad scientist Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage). Bad guys have plots, but Underdog has a spaniel to impress! Oh, and the day to save. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall